Everybody knows the Canary Islands, an autonomous state off the coast of Spain, are one of the world’s top luxury travel destinations, but not many people ever take the trouble to figure out what the islands are, or even what a holiday would look like over there. The reason behind this is that they are generally perceived as a high-priced destination; air fares aside, lavishing in a luxurious holiday of your own on the island of Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canaries, isn’t anywhere near as expensive, nor as out of your reach as you might otherwise imagine. And the beauty of the landscape makes absolutely any expense worthwhile, as confirmed by some of the images on the a1lanzarote villas website, for instance. If you’re thinking of discovering the Canaries, then Lanzarote is definitely the place to be, and this article will help give you a bit of background before you head on out over there.
Why Choose Lanzarote?
There is an answer to the above question for any particular type of traveler, be they passionate about history, natural history, flora, fauna, or simply out to have a good time. For one thing, the island is extremely well positioned: only 125 kilometers off the coast of the African continent and in extremely close proximity to some of the other Canaries. Fuerteventura is 11 kilometers to the north-east, while possibly the most famous destination in the entire archipelago, Graciosa, is a little over one kilometer away. It may not be a large island in size, but it more than compensates in terms of beauty. It’s got 213 kilometers of coastline, of which ten are gorgeous sandy beaches, two mountain ranges (Famara in the north and Ajaches in the south), as well as the largest submerged volcanic tunnel on Earth, aptly titled the ‘Tunnel of Atlantis’. In an interesting aside, the entire island was born out of a volcanic eruption and includes lava streams that have since turned solid, as well as oddly shaped rock formations.
The Biosphere Reserve on Lanzarotes
While the abundance of interesting species on Lanzarote more than warrants its status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a recent corruption scandal put a slight damper on the island’s natural tourism prosperity. Allegedly, in May 2009, several politicians and businessmen on the island (including the former Lanzarotes president and Arrecife mayor) were arrested for having issued illegal business permits along the coastline. UNESCO subsequently threatened to withdraw the island’s title as a protected reserve, should any buildings that don’t respect “local needs and [impact] the environment crop up.” Luckily, no action has been taken in this sense, and the hundreds of protected flora species on the island are still safe.
Where to Stay?
Accommodation is all about personal choice and lifestyle, but perhaps the best way to see any island in the Canaries is to rent out a holiday villa, such as the ones we came across on www.a1lanzarotevillas.com. Prices are affordable, given the amenities (Internet access, private swimming pools, satellite TV, etc.). Check out some pictures of the island, judge it for yourself and then decide if Lanzarote is worth it.